Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (French pronunciation: , English: /ˈsɑrtrə/; 21 June 1905 – 15 April 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, playwright, novelist, screenwriter, political activist, biographer, and literary critic. He was one of the leading figures in 20th century French philosophy, particularly Marxism, and was one of the key figures in literary and philosophical existentialism. His work continues to influence fields such as Marxist philosophy, sociology, critical theory and literary studies. Sartre was also noted for his long polyamorous relationship with the feminist author and social theorist Simone de Beauvoir. He was awarded the 1964 Nobel Prize in Literature but refused it.
Jean-Paul Sartre was born in Paris as the only child of Jean-Baptiste Sartre, an officer of the French Navy, and Anne-Marie Schweitzer. His mother was of Alsatian origin and the first cousin of Nobel Prize laureate Albert Schweitzer. (Her father, Charles Schweitzer, was the older brother of Albert Schweitzer's father, Louis Théophile.) When Sartre was 15 months old, his father died of a fever. Anne-Marie moved back to her parents' house in Meudon, where Sartre was raised with help from her father, a professor of German, who taught Sartre mathematics and introduced him to classical literature at a very early age. At twelve his mother remarried and the family moved to La Rochelle, where he was frequently bullied.
As a teenager in the 1920s, Sartre became attracted to philosophy upon reading Henri Bergson's essay Time and Free Will: An Essay on the Immediate Data of Consciousness. He studied and earned a doctorate in philosophy in Paris at the École Normale Supérieure, an institution of higher education that was the alma mater for several prominent French thinkers and intellectuals. It was at ENS that Sartre began his life-long, sometimes fractious, friendship with Raymond Aron. Sartre was influenced by many aspects of Western philosophy, absorbing ideas from Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Husserl and Heidegger, among others.